Skip to main content

Business: Government Assistance

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the policies of his Department and its predecessors in (a) providing support to business and (b) improving levels of skills in (i) England, (ii) the North East, (iii) Tees Valley and (iv) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency since 1997. (302081)

BIS evaluates the effectiveness of business support in England through a variety of research and analysis. This includes:

Economic Impact of Business Link Local Services (BERR 2007) which assessed the effectiveness and value for money of Business Link. This includes a regional chapter (chapter 7).

http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file40289.doc

Business Links Value for Money Evaluation (DTI 1998)

http://berr.gov.uk/files/file39415.doc

Recently completed research undertaken on behalf of BIS includes an Early Assessment of Business Link Health Checks by the Institute for Employment Studies and a mystery shopping based study of the early stages of the Business Link service conducted by Middlesex University. The reports from these studies were both published on the BIS website on 27 November.

Skills

Raising UK skill levels to world class status is a priority for Government and the progress achieved is an important indicator of the success of our policies. The following table shows how skill attainment of the working age population has increased since 1997 in England and in the north-east. Comparable and accurate figures for the sub-regions requested are not available.

Government provide support to employers to increase the skills of their employees through Train to Gain and Apprenticeships. Both programmes continue to go from strength to strength. Since 2006 Train to Gain has supported people to start over 1.4 million qualifications, and over 780,000 qualifications have already been achieved. This has arisen from engagement with 143,000 employers through the brokerage service alone and many more engaging directly with providers. We have rescued and expanded apprenticeships, trebling the number of starts from 65,000 in 1996/97 to 234,000 in 2008/09. Tables showing growth of this programme in the areas requested follow. Figures for sub-regions are not available for qualifications attainments and figures for Tees Valley are not available for programme data.

Percentage of England qualified to each level in Q4 of each year

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

No qualifications

17.1

16.5

15.6

15.0

15.1

14.1

13.7

13.4

12.6

12.2

11.4

10.9

Proportion at level 2+

61.0

62.5

64.0

65.0

65.0

66.4

67.2

67.6

68.9

69.9

70.7

71.2

Proportion at level 3+

40.5

42.2

43.5

44.6

44.7

46.0

47.0

47.5

48.4

49.4

50.6

50.8

Proportion at level 4+

22.3

23.7

24.5

25.2

25.2

26.2

27.2

27.9

28.5

30.0

30.9

31.2

Percentage of north-east qualified to each level in Q4 of each year

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

No qualifications

17.0

16.3

15.3

14.9

14.8

14.1

13.6

12.9

12.3

12.2

11.5

10.8

Proportion at level 2+

61.5

63.0

64.3

65.1

65.5

66.5

67.6

68.1

69.4

69.7

70.6

71.4

Proportion at level 3+

41.0

42.5

43.9

44.8

45.1

46.1

47.4

47.8

48.7

49.5

50.4

51.0

Proportion at level 4+

22.6

23.9

24.6

25.2

25.5

26.3

27.5

27.9

28.7

30.0

30.4

31.1

Apprenticeship completions and Train to Gain achievements

Apprenticeships completions

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

England

49,300

67,200

98,700

111,800

112,600

126,900

North East

3,700

5,200

7,200

8,000

7,600

9,000

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

190

250

310

340

280

350

Regional development agencies (RDAs)

The RDAs contribute to both the business support and skills agendas. Their performance from 2002-03 to 2006-07 was evaluated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of BERR in March 2009. Using gross figures for the period 2002/03 to 2006/07, provided by the RDAs to Parliament, this indicates that the RDA have helped to create 56,000 businesses and have provided 1.25 million learning opportunities. Applying the average additionality ratios found by PwC to these figures gives net figures of 27,000 businesses and 0.7 million learning opportunities.

For the north-east, the 65 per cent. of spending which the evaluation covered assisted 9,500 businesses (1,700 net), helped to create 1,900 businesses (1,100 net) and provided skills assistance to 158,600 people (98,300 net). Figures at sub-regional level are not available.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in the City of York Council have received Government guarantees on bank loans under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee; which businesses received such guarantees; and what the monetary value of the loan or loans guaranteed was in each case. (307386)

Set out in the table is the information for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee for the City of York council since it was launched on 14 January:

City of York

Number of loans offered

9

Number of loans drawn

7

Value of loans offered (£ million)

0.92

Value of loans drawn (£ million)

0.56

Information about individual businesses that have received an Enterprise Finance Guarantee loan is confidential and they cannot be named without their consent.